State Records Show Insurance Industry Lobbied on BadgerCare
Lobbying records from (GAB) call into question Governor Walker’s blanket denial that the insurance industry lobbied his administration to reject federal funds for BadgerCare.
Statewide – Lobbying records from the Government Accountability Board (GAB) call into question Governor Scott Walker’s blanket denial that the insurance industry lobbied his administration to reject enhanced federal funds for BadgerCare.
On a media call earlier this week Citizen Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Democracy Campaign released evidence of a relationship between large insurance industry campaign donations to Scott Walker and the rejection of federal funds for BadgerCare. The data shows that the insurance industry was the biggest beneficiary of the decision to reject the funds for BadgerCare and has made major large campaign contributions to Governor Walker and leading Legislators.
Television journalist Greg Neumann of WKOW TV 27 in Madison captured Scott Walker on video stumbling to respond to Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s revelation that insurance industry donations may have swayed his decisions to reject hundreds of millions of federal dollars for BadgerCare.
In the news story, Walker says on camera that “to my knowledge they [the insurance industry] haven’t lobbied me personally or anyone in my administration on this.”
However, lobbying records from GAB show that three powerful insurance industry trade associations and one large national for-profit insurance company lobbied substantially on the part of the state budget related to BadgerCare funding.
The records show that Alliance of Health Insurers, Wisconsin Association of Health Plans, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and Wellpoint/Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Wisconsin spent at least 363 hours lobbying on the section of the state budget that includes BadgerCare funding.
Unlike GAB reporting requirements on individual bills, reporting rules on subjects in the state budget do not require specific disclosure of what position was taken, only what areas of the budget were lobbied.
“Lobbying records certainly cast doubt on Governor Walker’s blanket denial that his administration was lobbied by large insurance interests to reject federal funds for BadgerCare,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “We are very concerned that over 26,000 Wisconsin parents may be going without vital health coverage because of more pay-to-play corruption in the Walker Administration.”
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